One of only 75 cars built, this example has just 8,400km on the clock. Picture: SUPPLIED
One of only 75 cars built, this example has just 8,400km on the clock. Picture: SUPPLIED

Going up for sale at RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba auction at Italy’s Lake Como, as part of the world-famous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on May 25, is this rare and stunning Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss.

The car made its world debut at the 2009 Detroit car show as a lightweight speedster derivative of the SLR, a purist and visually spectacular variant of the car that was jointly built by McLaren and Mercedes at the time.

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Just 75 examples were built, offered exclusively to existing SLR owners as a modern homage to the iconic 300 SLR that Stirling Moss drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia.

Like the 300 SLR, nearly all creature comforts were whipped out in pursuit of performance and aesthetics, and together with weight-saving carbon fibre extensively used in the bodywork the car was 200kg lighter than standard.

The windscreen and roof were removed to add to the visual drama and deliver the most intense hair-ruffling driving experience.

The 5.5l supercharged 485kW V8 engine thrust this lightened two-seater from 0-100km/h in just 3.5 seconds and on to a 354km/h top speed.

This particular example has just under 8,400km on the odo and is expected to fetch €1.85m-€2.2m.